Words and Photos - Brando Yelavich.
Stealth Expedition DUST - A journey through the red centre. I decided to cycle across Australia on a bike earlier this year as touring, actually biking in general, is something I have no idea about. I wanted to learn what it was like to cross a continent on a bike and Australia sounded like the gnarliest option. Dry, hot and dusty as! It immediately became clear the biggest challenge was going to be carrying our water. Making sure we had enough to get us to the next point where we could access water again. This journey was going to be a huge learning curve for both Loren and I, but I think if you’re not learning you’re not really living.
Bikes, but no bags, yet!
When I first started looking into what to put on bikes when you go bikepacking, I was totally clueless. Well I knew you had to put bags on bikes, but I didn't know much more, I'm actually still learning. I really like to work with small local companies because I know by helping get their brand name out to others I am potentially helping them succeed with their dreams. In the early stages of planning, I reached out to Stealth Bike bags, a custom bike bag fabricator who uses high-quality fabric and could create a product that would fit my exact needs during Expedition Dust. At this point, as I said above I didn't know what I was looking for so I'm going to be honest! I loved the name, I loved the look, and most of all I loved dealing with the guy running the operation.
I got two full sets of bike packing gear in black, this is a break down on the gear...
* 1 Handlebar roll - I have decided to put my roll mat and sleeping bag liner in this bag.
* 1 Heaphy Harness - This is mounted on Lorens ECR under the handlebars and holds her roll mat
* 2 Front Loaders - Clips on to the front bag for some easy to access gear and snacks.
* 2 Dump Tanks - Traditionally mounted on the back of the seat post but because of our racks, I decided to mount them at the very rear of the bike on the rack itself. I'm not 100% sure it will hold the full distance on there but only time will tell
* 2 Top Loaders - Perfect for my meds and snacks for the day!
* 2 Custom Full Frame Bags - Lots of easy to access gear in these. I have my bike repair gear
* 8 Custom Expedition Panniers - If you're a biker you will know exactly what these are. I didn't have a clue what they were called until I looked it up on Google. Panniers are the bags that attach to racks on the front or back of the bikes or in my case both. these bags will hold 20L of water and two weeks of food in the back.
Getting loaded up.
I'm very new to the biking world, so I'm really excited to see how this gear performs when it is put to the test over the next few months! Follow the adventure and see how the gear performs in some of the harshest conditions on earth.